Elephant Justice Killed Man. Mob Justice Followed!

A peaceful elephant road crossing would have stayed so had a man not been trampled by one of the herd. The man would have been alive had he – and scores of others – not shouted, heckled and honked. The ruckus disturbed the giant mammals and one of them lost his – or her – cool leading to the tragedy.

The video embedded here was a WhatsApp forward and there did not seem reason to doubt its authenticity. The message included the location: National Highway 37 near Marangi Tea Estate in Golaghat district of Assam in northeastern India. Watch it – but you are being alerted to disturbing imagery.

Cases of man (induced) – animal conflicts continue to be on the rise, all avoidable. It is bad enough to have cleared forests to feed our desire for a cuppa of tea; what’s worse is we don’t let the remaining animals roam and live peacefully. Humans have believed – and continue to – that they are supreme and all of nature is theirs to own, exploit and consume without any responsibility to do so sustainably.

Mob Justice
I shared the above video on social media; what followed was mob justice. Most commentors had no sympathy for the man, saying he deserved it. Some wished more or all of the crowd had been meted out the same treatment. For me, the trauma of the elephants was disturbing but I did not wish death or injury to anyone, even if they had it coming.

What did I read into all this? The reaction on social media showed a barbaric mindset to address the issue at hand. But what these same ‘judges’ do not realize is that they can well be next to suffer. Because we are all guilty of abusing nature, directly or indirectly. If any of these commentors were to meet with a fate similar to the man in the video, should we say you deserved it? How many more wake-up calls do we need about the importance of caring for and restoring the planet’s health, a task where each of us has to be a part of?  

P.S. The man who was trampled upon seemed a poor, lesser-educated man. The people who commented were the relatively better-off elites from the cities – as would most of the readers of this article be. How will the latter react if, God forbid, it happens to one of ‘us’?

4 thoughts on “Elephant Justice Killed Man. Mob Justice Followed!”

  1. High time we should teach our children to be more sensitive towards everyone who is not at par with us. We should stop thinking that we are superiors in any way. This superiority is deep embeded into us. It has to be replaced with compassion and justice to letting everything co exist with us

  2. Replying to the writers question, there are still some educated fools even, in the society, who pumped with the excitement and wilderness of the wildlife, tend to behave recklessly leading to such unfortunate incidents.. There are many example of adventure Strolling in the forest or forbidden areas at forbidden times leading to harm and even death of travellers.. One has a bigger responsibility when you enter their parameter and should respect their space and well being. It’s always about peaceful coexistence with all creatures..

  3. I too wonder, what more will it take for people to realise the value of our Natural world. Forget teaching children instead lets rethink n re-evaluate our own actions or lack of them.

  4. This has nothing to do with poverty nor do these men look like at all like the poorest. Poverty is not an excuse for cruelty. Only the foolish rich imagine that the two are somehow connected; some people even suggested that the rapists and murderers of Nirbhaya were excusable because they were poor. In fact, the poor are often been the most sensitive to animals. It’s hideous that in a country where Ganesha is worshipped these men can think of nothing better to do than hoot and throw things at these magnificent beings. Those who mistreat animals will always mistreat humans too, sooner or later. Notice that they don’t go to the help of the man who is trampled.


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